Thursday, April 30, 2009

Brooches For Men

A friend of mine came over last night so we could set up for a jewelry show we are having to sell our handmade treasures before Mother's Day. Anyway, being big-time American Idol fans, we stopped to watch the show. Well, look at what is on Adam Lambert's lapel, I said. It's a cool man brooch. I just read about these somewhere in some obscure trend article. I spent this morning looking for it to no avail. So I went online and found some more examples of what may shape up to be a very hot trend for men, especially this fall. Depending on the piece, the brooch can add an edgy vibe or bring an unexpected level of sophistication to a guy's jacket.

The men's brooches from the above picture, courtesy of Brandish, are available from the likes of Urweg, Yoox, BBlessing and Cooper-Hewitt. You can also do some hunting for the men's brooches from Gucci's Autumn (Fall)/Winter 2008 collection, which have easily been amongst the best to hit the catwalks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Optomistic Polka Dot

Sometimes it's hard to write a trend blog. I am immersed on a daily basis in news stories, magazine features, pop culture venues, the Internet and of course, other peoples blogs and it seems almost ridiculous to discuss the relevance of say, polka dots, when the swine flu is threatening the health of people around the world and in our own back yard. But then I think, Jen, you have an opportunity to bring levity to people who are experiencing the challenges of this sobering time we are in. So, on that note, I will discuss why polka dots are important. Don't laugh! There are reasons that polka dots are trendy again. Polka dots are classic and retro in feel, yet they are upbeat and optimistic, too. Black and white polka dots are dramatic. Colorful polka dots are youthful and festive. People tend to look back to the comforts of their childhood when they are fearful. People are not afraid of polka dots. Polka dots say, "Hey, things are going to be OK." Polka dots mean PARTY! The designer, Michael Kors, was all about polka dots for his spring fashion offerings. Yes, times are hard, scary, uncertain............but don't fall into the grey trend trap and miss out on the attitude-adjusting polka dot. Better still, grab your kids, last year's tee shirt, a bag a fat marshmellows, some Tulip fabric paint and have a polka dot refashion party. Simply dip the marshmellows in the paint, press it onto your fabric, repeat as many times as necessary to make your pattern and voila!, you have a fabulously fun and trendy shirt.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


On Monday, my husband and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. This picture was taken sixteen years ago on the beach in Pacific Grove when my honey and I were newly dating. We were in town to visit my sister so she could meet my new boyfriend. As he and I were holding hands, walking along the sidewalk high above the sand below, he leaped over the guard rail and climbed down a bunch of huge rocks to get to this spot. He picked up a big piece of driftwood and wrote this message in the sand. I laughed and took his picture. An old man stopped to watch my honey climb down the mountainside and turned to me and said, "Why didn't he just take the stairs?" And he pointed to a long set of stairs not far from the 'treacherous' descent my boyfriend had just scaled. I shrugged and decided it was far more romantic the way my love risked his life to tell me he loved me. Now, sixteen years, two monkey boys and a whole lot of drama under the bridge, we are still loving one another.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Of Taxes and TEA Parties

Happy tax day! I can say that because, A) My taxes are done, and B) I am going to a TEA Party! The AFA, planned to coordinate 1,000 Taxed Enough Already, or TEA, parties to be held at 12 p.m. on April 15 in front of city halls across the nation. Taxpayers are also organizing tea parties for Independence Day and various Saturdays so people with conflicting work schedules may attend. This Tea Party trend is one I hope will continue: raising our voices together - tax payers from both sides of the spectrum - to end big government and big bailouts. We The People of the Central Valley will meet at the Save Mart Center in Fresno from 1pm to 7pm. Make history, be trendy, attend a TEA Party today!

Swap Thing

It's time to get creative in a harsh economy. What's a girl to do? We are in a time when women are encouraged to shop in their own closets to create a new wardrobe by adding great new accessories to past fashion favorites or refashioning their last season garments with a snip here and a tuck there. Well, a new trend is emerging that sounds like lots of fun! If you are so over shopping in your own closet, why not shop in your friends closet instead? Swap your stuff for hers and then make it your own. It's all about creativity and accessorizing. Take her gently worn dress, top, whatever and sew on a perfectly placed rosette to a shoulder or at the waist. Maybe glue on some chunky XL stones, old jewelry or layers of chains at the neckline for a fashion forward stunner. If you are not a clever seamstress or refuse to get glue on your hands then maybe you should just organize a swap party for your friends who are tired of their designer pieces and want to trade for yours. The May issue of Real Simple features an article called The Ultimate Swap Party. "Reduce, reuse, recycle" are words to live by. Now there can be a reason to socialize, too. Gather some friends - along with their excess stuff - for a thrifty trade fest. It's like an upscale yard sale among friends. You can swap anything really, from clothes and accessories to housewares, to books and CDs. Set up tables for each swapper and make sure the swap rules are clear: everyone brings good stuff, everyone takes turns trading and everyone leaves with the same amount of stuff she brought - if you brought five things, you only get to take home five things. More tips for a happy swap: Be sure and send out emails or invite notices well in advance so your swappers have time to gather their treasures for swapping, serve some delicious snacks and tell your swappers to bring a tote to take their loot home in. This swap thing is also a fabulous prom idea. Swap with your girlfriends and remake what was theirs - last year's dress - into what is now yours. Be creative and crafty!
There's also Swapstyle. An online fashion swap party where you can swap clothes, shoes and accessories with people from all around the world. Imagine browsing at your leisure through an extensive international fashion wardrobe and choosing exactly what you want. It's convenient, saves time, and offers so much more variety. You could have a never ending supply of fashion! It is the perfect way to refresh and renew your wardrobe or closet.
Here's a tip for young girls who need a prom dress without a huge price tag: is a national network of dress-drive organizations that collects and distributes special-occasion outfits for prom, Sweet Sixteens and quinceraneras. Often donors are celebrities that include Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. is another good source for finding that perfect donated dress.


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